Local Democrats Decry Republican Tax Bill as a Scam

Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), a member of the House Ways & Means Committee – Courtesy photo

‘Bill eliminates benefits that help students to pay for college education’ 

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, a tax bill that slashes tax rates on corporations and eliminates deductions used by individuals, like the deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) and the deduction for interest on student loans. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, released the following statement:

“Instead of the tax reform we were promised, this Republican tax bill is just a massive tax cut for corporate interests paid for by the middle class, those we were supposed to be helping. First, Republicans eliminate the State and Local Tax deduction, which is currently used by over 6 million California households to prevent their hard earned dollars from being taxed twice. Next, the bill rips away critical benefits that help our students to pay for their college education by ending the student loan interest deduction and the Lifetime Learning Credit that helps students afford graduate school. It even pays for the corporate tax cuts by taxing graduate students on the tuition assistance they receive for working for their schools. This bill even pinches students when they’re still in elementary school by taxing their teachers who for claim a deduction for the school supplies they pay for out of their own paychecks.

“These are just some of the ways middle class Americans are asked to pay for corporate tax cuts, all in the name of trickle-down economics, a theory that has been repeatedly tried and shown not to work. This was a wasted opportunity to do the right thing for our economy. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I offered amendments to improve this bill for the middle class by reinstating the estate tax, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and allowing teachers to deduct out-of-pocket expenses for school supplies. But all were met with unanimous Republican opposition. Instead of true tax reform that would help families achieve the American Dream, Republicans have chosen to hand a massive debt to our children, while stripping away deductions and tax help that many struggling families depend on.”

Rep. Napolitano said: “This shameful Republican tax bill is a giveaway to corporations and the richest 1 percent and a tax hike on working middle class Americans and their children. 30 percent of my residents will lose State and Local Tax deductions, averaging $17,500 per family according to the IRS, which will devastate housing affordability in my district and disadvantage California taxpayers compared to other states.

“It cruelly eliminates the Medical Expense Tax Deduction, worth over $10,400 on average. This is a crushing blow to seniors and families in my district who have long-term medical needs, as well as families with children who have severe disabilities.

“The House bill is terrible, but now Senate Republicans want to include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act in their bill, making it even more painful for working families. This would kick millions off their health insurance plans, spike premiums, and undermine our entire healthcare system.

“H.R. 1 also abolishes the tax-exempt status of Private Activity Bonds used by San Gabriel Valley cities, water agencies, and transportation agencies to provide low-cost financing for vital infrastructure projects.

“I join my constituents, the California League of Cities, California Counties, State of California, and the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership in strong opposition to HR. 1. We must defeat this awful bill.”

November 25, 2017

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